EDiscovery software provider Nuix has come up with an imaginative plan which simultaneously provides lawyers and others with hands-on opportunities to develop technical eDiscovery skills and helps increase literacy skills to children in developing countries.
Like so many imaginative plans, it is easily understood: you pay $100 for Proof Finder, which gives you the same processing, search and analysis capabilities as other Nuix eDiscovery solutions with a 10 Gb data limit. Nuix will give the entire proceeds to a charity called Room to Read, which works in developing countries to increase literacy skills among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school.
1,000 such licences are to be made available over a 10 week period and the licence itself lasts for 12 months. Proof Finder is available at www.prooffinder.com.
There is an obvious connection here – though I do not think that it is what drove Nuix’s choice of charity. Literacy is a basic skill which people need to make progress in life. You cannot move beyond the basics without getting your hands on books. Lawyers, in-house information managers and those with responsibility for law enforcement and investigations can develop their skills in a practical way if they can actually use software designed for the purpose. It is rarely possible to gain such experience without significant investment in software licenses.
The scheme is explained in this press release. You get hold of the software in the same way as you acquire many more everyday applications by making an online payment, downloading a file and entering a licence number given at the time of payment. Working with a fully expanded dataset of up to 10 Gb, you can catalogue and search files and e-mails, look for particular types of file or content, and undertake an early case assessment through a user-friendly interface.
Nuix is giving live training webinars starting on 7 December, and online support is available in a variety of forms, including peer-to-peer help as well as user documentation, FAQs and training videos. The idea is not simply passive learning – you can use this on live cases immediately, getting your hands dirty on real data and finding out what this kind of software can do.
One of my recurring themes this year is that lawyers have difficulty in understanding what actually happens when eDiscovery applications are brought to bear on their clients’ documents and data. Craig Ball, who is a lawyer as well as a skilled forensic investigator, often reminds us of the days when a client would bring in a file and you could dive straight into it and start giving initial advice. This initiative gives lawyers the opportunity to see the transition from the source electronic documents to a reviewable body of data with the same immediacy.
The cause, Room to Read, is obviously a good one, and worth a $100 donation anyway. To help children to read whilst giving yourself a new set of skills is not something to be missed.